Should Congress authorize dedicated domestic terrorism offices within the DHS, DOJ, and FBI that would investigate domestic terror activity?

• "There is no justification or defense for racism, white supremacy or domestic terrorism. At the same time, there are profound constitutional concerns raised by the establishment of multiple federal offices to monitor Americans who have not committed any crime in order to find out if they’re saying anything judged to be similar to the words used by people who did commit a crime." Source: Editorial Board (Pasadena Star-News)
• "The Justice Department (DOJ), including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has over 50 terrorism-related statutes it can use to investigate and prosecute criminal conduct, including white supremacist violence, as well as dozens of other federal statutes relating to hate crimes, organized crime, and violent crimes. The failure to confront and hold accountable white nationalist violence is not a question of not having appropriate tools to employ, but a failure to use those on hand. To date, DOJ has simply decided as a matter of policy and practice not to prioritize white nationalist crimes. Congress should use its oversight and appropriations authorities to ensure that law enforcement appropriately focuses investigative and prosecutorial resources on white nationalist crimes. We urge you to oppose any new domestic terrorism charge, the creation of a list of designated domestic terrorist organizations, or other expansion of existing terrorism-related authorities. We are concerned that a new federal domestic terrorism statute or the list would adversely impact civil rights and - as our nation’s long and disturbing history of targeting Back Activists, Muslims, Arabs, and movements for social and racial justice has shown - this new authority could be used to expand racial profiling or be wielded to surveil and investigate communities of color and political opponents in the name of national security." Source: Editorial Board (Human Rights Watch)
• "I’ve been given notice here that the Department of Justice does not support this piece of legislation because they say it would seriously impede their ability to work in the domestic terrorism space. So, again I’m not exactly sure why the Department of Justice does not like this piece of legislation, but suffice to say they don’t." Source: Sen. Ron Johnson (Republican, Wisconsin)
• "Homegrown, violent domestic terrorism from white supremacists, and other racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists remain a serious ongoing threat that demands the full coordination and efforts of our federal law enforcement agencies. We must provide the necessary tools for our law enforcement to investigate, prevent, and prosecute these heinous, violent crimes. This bill would also direct resources for investigations into hare crime incidents with a nexus to domestic terrorism. As a former FBI Supervisory Special Agent, I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation that would codify offices within our federal law enforcement agencies to combat and prevent domestic terrorist activities and threats." Source: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (Republican, Pennsylvania, District 1)
• "Following the terrifying attack on the Capitol [in January], which left five dead and many injured, the entire nation has been seized by the potential threat of more terrorist attacks in Washington and around the country. Unlike after 9/11, the threat that reared its ugly head on January 6th is from domestic terror groups and extremists, often racially-motivated violent individuals. America must be vigilant to combat those radicalized to violence, and the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act gives our government the tools to identify, monitor and thwart their illegal activities." Source: Rep. Brad Schneider (Democrat, Illinois, District 10)
• "We recently witnessed hate groups, white power movements, and violent conspiracy networks unite to terrorize Washington, DC. We must now focus national resources on preventing and investing acts of domestic terrorism from the community level on up. The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021 will help prevent further hate crimes and acts of domestic terrorism that have continually plagued our communities and nation. Congress cannot delay in passing vital legislation." Source: Rep. Robin Kelly (Democrat, Illinois, District 2)
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